Archive for July, 2012

Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2; Viola Concerto

Posted in Concerto, Orchestral, Violin with tags , , , , on July 31, 2012 by orinococds
album cover image

Bartok: Violin Concertos BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda, James Ehnes
CHAN 10690  $33NZ

Violin Concerto No. 1, BB 48a 20:45

Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117 36:01

Viola Concerto, Sz 120, BB 128 20:406

James Ehnes violin and viola | BBC Philharmonic | Gianandrea Noseda

Internet retailer Presto had this to say about the Bartok concertos release in 2011:
“Hailed as ‘the Jascha Heifetz of our day’ (The Globe and Mail, Canada), the violinist James Ehnes is widely considered one of the most dynamic and exciting performers in classical music, appearing regularly with the world’s finest orchestras and conductors… Ehnes is the soloist in Bartók’s two violin concertos in which he plays the ‘Marsick’ Stradivarius of 1715, as well as in the viola concerto, performing on the ‘Rolla’ Giuseppe Guadagnini viola of 1793, on loan from the Fulton Collection.”

James Ehnes said of this disc: ‘These three concertos are among the most striking examples of Bartók’s early, middle, and late periods, each showing a very different side of one of the great musical voices of all time; they are among my very favourite pieces to perform’.

“a performance that, throughout, is ear-catchingly alert to the music’s range of tonal shading, its abrupt switches of pace and mood, its powerful bravura and its pungent lyricism…this whole disc…gives a remarkable insight into Bartók’s compositional individuality in performances of captivating artistry.” The Telegraph, 2nd September 2011 *****

“Romantic” is not the first word that comes to mind with Bartók, but there is no mistaking the romantic influences that run through these concertos…Ehnes’s sweet tone and sensitive musicianship make this an unexpectedly rewarding disc, with warm-blooded accompaniments” Financial Times, 17th September 2011 ****

“His sinewy, lean tone is perfect for the mature Bartok’s stark, rebarbative harmonic language, yet he perceives the lyrical, folkloric vein that runs through the composer’s greatest masterpieces. Ehnes makes the attractive but uncharacteristic early concerto worth hearing, but he really warms to the late lyrical manner Bartok adopted for the Viola Concerto” Sunday Times, 18th September 2011

“Chandos could not have chosen a more ideal team for this project…Here they demonstrate an instinctive understanding for the different musical characteristics of each work…While encapsulating these distinctive emotional worlds, they nonetheless maintain a tight grip over the music’s structural direction…Chandos have done soloist, conductor and orchestra proud with a warmly engineered recording that allows us to hear a wealth of inner details.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 *****

“I can’t think of a finer CD version of the First Concerto than this… its pared-to-the-bone textures mean that Ehnes’s soul-warming contribution comes across as especially powerful.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011

via Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2/Viola Concerto.

Playing time: 77 min 45 sec


Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) conducted by René Jacobs

Posted in Opera with tags , , on July 13, 2012 by orinococds

Mozart Magic Flute – RIAS Kammerchor & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin – Rene Jacobs cond. HMC 902068.70 $68NZ

Die Zauberflöte conducted by René Jacobs.  RIAS Kammerchor & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

“René Jacobs’s Mozart opera series [is] one of the recorded marvels of our time” James Jolly, Gramophone, February 2009

Here are some reminders of Jacobs’ achievements to date: from Gramophone Recording of the Year to the Grammy® Awards, Jacobs’ world-renowned Mozart opera recordings been celebrated by the most prestigious award organisations across the globe. A distinguished expert in the field, René Jacobs’ previous opera recordings have enjoyed a sales history of over 65,000  units per title.

314pp booklet with essay by René Jacobs and full libretto French, German, English.

René Jacobs was a guest at the Wellington International Arts Festival in 2010.